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"I remember entering a break-dancing competition here. I wasn't the best break-dancer, but they knew I was from the United States, so they gave me a trophy! "  -Leonardo DiCaprio remembering his early years in Germany
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Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) are two graduates of the Boston Police Academy; Colin is lured into working as a mole within the police force by local arch criminal Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and Billy is given a criminal profile so he can go undercover and infiltrate Costello's inner sanctum. Costello's latest caper involves micro chip sales to China with potentially catastrophic consequences, and to make things worse, he is suspected of being an FBI informer. As both moles become entangled in their jobs - and also with forensic psychologist Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga) - suspicions arise and both the police undercover unit and Costello's mob starts sniffing for the rat in their ranks.

Review by Louise Keller:
'I don't want to be a product of my environment,' says Jack Nicholson's Mafia boss Frank Costello, 'I want my environment to be a product of me.' As the master controlling puppeteer, Nicholson pulls the vulnerable strings of two young men who have chosen different paths. They could be brothers, but they are fundamentally different. Matt Damon's ambitious cop Colin Sullivan has no qualms about playing it rough on the road to achieving medals and glory, while Leonardo DiCaprio's street wise Billy Costigan uses dubious means to effect his honourable principles. The Departed is a tough and gritty crime thriller, tossing up the issue of morality before shooting it down in a cascade of bullets. Based on the 2002 Hong Kong drama Infernal Affairs, Martin Scorsese's film leaves you in no doubt that you have indeed seen a piece of explosive cinema. Deception is the key ingredient for the maze of mind games at the centre of the bloody violence, while the hand picked cast makes it a genuine pleasure.

Nicholson fills the screen effortlessly, and we can almost watch him thinking as he evaluates, manipulates and strong-arms every situation. There's a wonderful scene when we see him sitting in the audience watching the opera Lucia di Lammermoor. The wallpaper behind him is blood red as we see his face in close up - the very epitome of evil.

Honesty is not synonymous with truth, says Vera Farmiga's police psychiatrist, who suddenly faces her own demons as she becomes involved with both Sullivan and Costigan. Tension builds as both men learn they are facing a snitch - it is a matter of survival, both physically and mentally.

Superb editing allows us to infiltrate both worlds seamlessly and Howard Shore's score shows us yet again this talented composer's versatility. As you would expect, the violence is non-compromising and constantly confronting. But it is the morality that disturbs in the final analysis.

Available to rent or own on DVD as a single disc edition or to own as a 2-disc Special Edition whose features include additional scenes with introductions by Marti Scorsese plus features.

Published March 15, 2007

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(US, 2006)

CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin

PRODUCER: Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Martin Scorsese, Graham King, Brad Grey

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese

SCRIPT: William Monahan (original by Alan Mak, Felix Ching)


EDITOR: Thelam Schoonmaker

MUSIC: Howard Shore


RUNNING TIME: 153 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 12, 2006

PRESENTATION: Widescreen; available in one disc or two discs (Special edition and collectors edition)

SPECIAL FEATURES: Additional scenes with introductions by Marti Scorsese; Stranger than Fiction - the true story of Whitey Bugler, Southie and The Departed; Crossing Criminal Cultures; how Little Italy's Crime and Violence Influence Scorsese's work.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: March 14, 2007

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